Tuesday, 5 March 2024

OCBC distinguishes itself with unique innovations

5 min read

By Foo Boon Ping

OCBC’s Sunny Quek and Serene Koh hope to distinguish the industry-changing innovations that OCBC has achieved from the achievements of other banks—many of which Koh believes have been over-publicised and hyped

OCBC Bank’s Sunny Quek, recently appointed head of global consumer financial services, and Serene Koh, head of group digital business and transformation discussed the bank’s latest initiatives and priorities with The Asian Banker where Koh highlighted the bank’s unique and industry-changing innovations, including cardless and pinless withdrawals through ATMs.

Quek warned against the current obsession with innovation, saying: “Take away the buzzwords and jargon. Terms like customer-centricity, hyper-personalisation and innovation have become commoditised.”

Everyone seems to have done, or claims to be doing something ‘innovative’. To truly do it and to differentiate, it has to have a tangible use and benefit to the customer.

Quek and Koh cited three initiatives that they believe are industry firsts:

● Cardless and pinless cash withdrawal at all its ATMs via the OCBC Digital or PayAnyone app

● Encashment of government payouts at all its ATMs that use facial recognition technology to verify the identity of payout recipients

● The extension of a time-term deposit to members of CPF Board (the state-run mandatory retirement scheme) that offers a higher interest rate than the government scheme; the bank will offer it through digital platforms soon

Last year, OCBC announced digital passport authentication to improve the electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) process. OCBC also made headlines earlier this year as the first Singapore bank to offer virtual banking through the metaverse.

Despite their efforts and investments, many banks remain conservative and not particularly effective about communicating their innovations; the opposite is also sometimes true—commoditised innovations being over-publicised and hyped.

Quek said: “We aim to change that, we hope to celebrate more of our innovations, many of which are unique.”

The bank is refreshing and integrating some of its existing programmes such as the 360 account and 365 card to bring more ‘tangible’ use and benefits to customers. It introduced a lifestyle branch, OCBC Wisma Atria, that integrates branch banking services, a Premier wealth management centre, a Frank experience corner, and partner space that includes a ‘hidden' Omakase Japanese restaurant, a cafe and a bookstore.



Country: Singapore
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